Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Followers are leaders too, sometimes...

I've been moodling a lot about what happened yesterday on my walk with my neighbour. And after writing about it here, I shared my little reflection with a few people. My friend Rodney, who left the comment below it, shared a great little "mockumentary" about leadership and the importance of followers. I can't figure out how to make his link work in the comment section, and since I think the movie has something important to say, I'm posting it here. Take a look. It's only three minutes long.


What I really love about this example of leadership is the emphasis placed on the followers. The sunburned "lone nut" guy does what he has to do, but his efforts are going nowhere until the first follower joins him. And the second. And they're all leaders.

Kind of like what happened yesterday. I think Mary Anne and I were probably wondering if we were nuts, period, until the elderly gentleman joined us in picking up those tiny pieces of ribbon. He was probably the most important guy in the group. He kept complaining that he wasn't being terribly effective because it was hard for him to reach the ground, but he never quit. And when other people came along and saw him working (he might have been closer to ninety), how could they stay un-involved?

Actually, two of the walkers did... but had I realized the importance of the second followers, it would have been nothing for me to say, "Hey, many hands make light work. Why don't you help us?" Except part of me was in observer mode, wondering what they would do. Had any one of us invited them, it would have been hard for them to walk away.

Anyway, in the end, six of us made up our little movement, and it didn't matter who were leaders and who were followers by the time all the glittery stuff was picked up. The bandwagon rolled, and people jumped on. But now I see how it might roll a little differently next time... 

Thanks for the lesson, Rodney Al!

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